Automation: Implementation in Business

  • Online certificate course
  • Department of Management
  • Application code OCC009
  • Starting 2021
  • Short course: Open
  • Location: Global


Automation course trailer

Automation technology is a growing priority for businesses. According to Gartner, Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is the fastest-growing segment of the global enterprise software market with the biggest adopters being banks, telcos, insurance and utility companies.*

Over the course of six weeks, online, you’ll gain insight from industry experts and LSE faculty into how to effectively manage automation technologies for business value. You’ll be exposed to three key service automation technologies: RPA, Cognitive Automation (CA), and Artificial Intelligence (AI), and how these technologies can increase business productivity, profitability, and customer satisfaction. 

In this Automation: Implementation in Business online certificate course, you’ll explore the challenges and implications associated with an automated workplace, and discover the capabilities and applications of automation technology. By engaging with expert insight and sources of evidence, you’ll develop an awareness of the key management, social, political, economic, and ethical impacts in the development and deployment of automation.

You will consider the key question of how to implement automation technologies ethically, and learn skills to effectively introduce and sustain RPA technology in your business. By the end of this course you will be able to report on how your business can prepare for automation and the future of work. 

Note: This course is designed for professionals across a wide range of industries who are interested in the strategic management of service automation technologies. While you’ll gain insight into the technologies underpinning RPA, CA or AI, this course focuses on the management aspects of automation and is nontechnical in nature.

Gartner, Inc. (2019).

CPD Certified

This LSE course is certified by the United Kingdom CPD Certification Service, and may be applicable to individuals who are members of, or are associated with, UK-based professional bodies. The course has an estimated 60 hours of learning.

Programme details

Key facts

Registrations close:  20 July 2021 

Course start (Orientation opens):  28 July 2021

Module 1 starts:  4 August 2021

Duration: 6 weeks (excluding orientation)

Commitment: 8 - 10 hours per week

Fee: £2,100

Course outcomes

  • Gain a comprehensive understanding of what service automation technologies do, how they are developing, and how to apply them strategically within your business 

  • Build an awareness of the challenges in the implementation of these technologies, and the wider implications of an increasingly automated workplace

  • Propose ways in which service automation technologies can be used to solve real-world business problems

  • Gain a firm understanding of how to ethically deploy automation technologies for social good

  • Learn the critical success factors necessary for the practical implementation and management of these technologies at scale

Programme structure

  • Orientation Module

  • Module 1: The service automation landscape

  • Module 2: Managing RPA: Becoming strategic

  • Module 3: RPA for business: Maintaining momentum

  • Module 4: Managing cognitive automation: Technologies and challenges

  • Module 5: Taking action on the promise of AI

  • Module 6: Service automation and the future of work 


Convenor: Professor Leslie Willcocks – Professor of Work, Technology and Globalisation in the Department of Management at LSE

Leslie has a worldwide reputation for his research and advisory work on automation, digital business, the future of work, IT and business process outsourcing, organisational change, management, and global strategy. He has developed executive education programmes for organisations including: Standard Chartered Bank, Stater, ABNAmro Bank, Royal Sun Alliance, Singtel, Commonwealth Bank, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, Trizma, Accenture, IBM, Rotterdam Port Harbour Authority, and several government institutions in the UK, USA and Australia. He has served as an expert witness on congressional committees and senate inquiries on outsourcing in Australia and the USA and provided evidence to a number of UK government reports on major public sector IT projects. For the last 28 years he has been editor-in-chief of the Journal of Information Technology and is the co-author of 65 books. His recent publications, which cover over 450 automation deployments, include Service Automation, Robots and The Future of Work (2016), Robotic Process Automation and Risk Mitigation: The Definitive Guide (2017), Robotic and Cognitive Automation: The Next Phase (2018), and Becoming Strategic With Robotic Process Automation (2019).


There are no prerequisites for this course.


This course is presented entirely online, in collaboration with leaders in online education, GetSmarter. View the Automation: Implementation in Business online certificate course on the GetSmarter website. 

Modules are released on a weekly basis, and can be completed in your own time and at your own pace.

This interactive, supportive teaching model is designed for busy professionals and results in unprecedented certification rates for online courses.

Reading materials

All reading materials for this course will be made accessible to you through the Online Campus. Notes for each module are often downloadable, and you are able to save any information or collateral you use to your personal profile.

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